by Michael Rowse
Western New Mexico tennis made a quick trip from Tucson to Phoenix where the Stangs opened play in the Grand Canyon University Invitational. The Mustangs opened play against host Grand Canyon currently ranked #10 in the nation while the Mustangs are #30. WNMU battled but couldn't overcome the Lopers losing 6-3.
At the top spot Western's Rodrigo Almeida, ranked #43 nationally, battled hard against Felix Schueller but fell 7-5 6-4. At number two, Yann Kaelin downed Western's Juan Pablo Fuentes 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Western got a win at the number three position as Matthieu Covizzi prevailed 6-4, 6-0. In the fourth spot GCU's Arjun Bal downed Alvaro Nunez easily, 6-1 and 6-4. Alexander Roggenkamp, GCU, won at number five over Western's Jorge Carretero, 6-1 6-0 before Western got another singles win at six as Francisco Damasio came from behind to win 2-6, 7-5 and 10-8 in the most exciting match of the day.
In doubles action Almeida and Fuentes teamed up for a win 8-6 while Omar Lopez and Damasio lost the number two match 8-1. Covizzi and Carretero had another exciting close match but fell to their counterparts 9-8, 7-4 in the tiebreaker.
WNMU will face Fresno Pacific University in round 2 of the tournament at 9:00 a.m. today.